From Healing to Wild

wild-12015 was:

Finding my signature look of red glasses.

Las Vegas.

Sunflower fields.

Falling in love with Fargo.

Living with my best friends.

Small group(s).

ATL.

Shauna Niequist + Hannah Brencher + Donald Miller books.

Endless cups of coffee.

Countless trips to Starbucks.

15 weddings.

YWAM.

Making more music.

Art club.

Block parties.

Adulting. Sometimes.

Naps on the beach.

Holy moments on docks.

Road trips.

Airports.

Tears.

Laughter.

Dancing. Particularly dancing in the rain. in a ghetto. in the desert.

Building community.

Refinding family.

Refinding church.

Learning to rest.

Surrendering dreams.

Wrestling comparison.

Getting dreams back.

Friend dates for days.

Full journals.

Tattoo.

Nannying.

Momming.

Pastoring.

Interning.

Learning.

Growing.

Healing.

At the beginning of 2015, I thought that my word for the year would be “dauntless.” And maybe for a brief moment it was. At the beginning of the year, I was so desperate to get out of survival mode that it took a fighting start. However, within a matter of weeks, I started to see that the song of war sounds more like a lullaby. Now, it sounds more like a dance anthem.

Many of you may know the popular quote that: “You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.” (Jamie Tworkowski)

That was my year minus the passport, but I made up for it in 12 airplane tickets. I learned again how to “believe better things” after a 2014 that kicked me in the butt. Piece by piece, I was put back together again by Holy Spirit through this year that ebbed and flowed in the most divine way.

I started off January so deeply broken. Church gave me anxiety and left me in a pile of tears. The thought of ever getting married and having a family made me outwardly laugh, but inwardly curl up in the fetal position. Being alone with God had to be done in small doses. Then God arrived so suddenly but so sweetly.

He arrived in the prayers of a friend, our faces both covered in tears as we asked for healing from my fears of marriage. He arrived in the modeling of a missional + healthy relationship in Las Vegas of all places. He arrived in finding myself returning to a Sunday morning church and returning that rhythm to my life. He arrived in friendships that were kindred spirits. He arrived in wedding ceremonies that moved my soul. He arrived in the most unlikely place of an internship with a church plant in Sin City where my views on marriage, family, purity, and church were renewed. He arrived in rest. He arrived in community. He arrived in a little church filled with hungry hearts and expectancy for God to show up. He arrived in a counselor’s office. He arrived in so many quiet moments.

I can point to dozens of times in this last year where God moved and changed me. Very few of those moments had any sort of pomp or flair. They were healing moments where He placed another layer of balm on my raw skin and as time went on, on my new fresh skin. It was a process. Sometimes slow. Sometimes speedy.

Now the time for healing comes to a close. It’s not that there will never be moments or new stages, but the deep and intense levels of healing are actually really well done. This year, I dug in my heels and did things that terrified me, but that healed me. I was desperate to be made into gold so that the fire would not be in vain. I didn’t fight the process, I fought with it. I learned how to heartily embrace the waves as I felt the thrill of throwing myself into them expectantly rather than just trying to survive their unexpected impact.

It’s beautiful because I feel like this whole last year, especially the last few months, were the upward climb of a roller coaster. Up. Up. Up. Climbing steadily. Now stopped. Ready for the drop that is 2016. Ready for arms raised, lungs screaming, laughter rising, heart racing, blood pumping, going too fast to really be afraid, but still really being afraid.

What does 2016 contain? I’m not really quite sure. I have ideas. I have some rough sketches. Many things feel actually rather planned out and orderly and tidy, but I know they wont stay that way. Life rarely goes according to plan and is always messier than anticipated. But there’s one word that I just can’t get over to describe what lies ahead: WILD.

Wild.

Yeah, it’s going to be wild.

Freedom

God is Not Worried About Me

God is not worried about me.

I get worried about me. I fret and fuss about the little things and the big ones. I wonder what to do with myself. What to do with myself in the next day to get everything done that needs to be accomplished. What to do with myself when looking for jobs or the next path for the future. What to do with myself in regards to all the big dreams and bursting passions that live inside my chest.

But my Father is not looking at me and scratching his head. He’s not wondering what to do with the crazy girl in Moorhead, Minnesota. There’s no shocking him. There’s no confusing him. There’s no twist or turn that my life takes that will ever throw him for a loop or take him off guard.

There are things that concern him. There are places where he looks at my life and whispers, “baby girl, let me take that from you. Because if you hold on to it, I see the end and it’s not going to be my best.” There are moments when I think he sighs because he sees me struggling with things that were never intended for me. In those moments, his heart feels emotions for me, but he does not worry.

Worry is a “state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.”

There is no uncertainty in him. There is no anxiety in him.

Why would there be? He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He crafted and upholds the universe by the breath of his word (Hebrews 1:3). In him there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17). He doesn’t change his mind or lie when he makes promises (Numbers 23:19).

This is who God is. He isn’t fickle. He isn’t swayed. He isn’t distracted. He is steady. He is powerful. He is all knowing.

I’m not sure why I’ve spent so much of my life believing that God was confused about me just because I was. My first real encounter with God as a kid was a dream where God called out my destiny and I knew from the age of about seven that God had something in store for me bigger than I could wrap my mind around. But walking around with dreams bursting inside of you is no easy feat when you’re just a crazy, loud, overly friendly girl from a small town in Minnesota. I spent a lot of my life feeling like I was too much for myself or others around me and trying desperately to tame myself, while always wishing to live with the same abandon that I did as a young child.

And in my life, I’ve spent plenty of time being worried about myself. What if I don’t live up to my potential? What if I actually don’t have that much potential? What if I miss my chance? What if I never see my dreams become reality? What if I see every dream come to fruition? What if I don’t get any job after college? What if I take the wrong job after college? What if I am actually supposed to go do something crazy instead of get a job? What if I marry someone who quenches my dreams? What if my following my dreams means not having a husband and family?

Somewhere along the line, I think I figured that God was like me and was worried about these things too. But he’s not worried. He doesn’t ask these questions of what my life will look like, because he knows the end from the beginning. It’s all the same to him. He sees me as a child and me now and me in the nursing home and calls it all the same. He calls is all lovely. He calls it all important. He has the same destinies written on my heart and into my DNA.

A promise that I’ve been clinging to lately is from Psalm 25:15 (Message version). “If I keep my eyes on God, I won’t trip over my own feet.”

Seriously. Go back and read that again. And again and again.

How beautiful is that? God tells us that if we keep our eyes on him, we aren’t going to be tripping over our own feet. We aren’t going to miss anything.

So friends, I’m going to share with you what God has been speaking to my heart lately. “Eyes up here. Eyes on me. Look at how much I love you. Look at how much I care. Do you really think that I’m not going to take care of you? No, you are my prize. I created you. I went to the cross for you. I triumphed over death and sin for you. So trust. Trust. Trust. And keep your eyes on me because that’s the safest place you will ever be: with eyes locked and heart determined. I know what to do with you.”